Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Guard Duty, Series Four
Episode 8 - Be Counted

By Jordan D. White

Binary Girl
Dr. Fast
Captain Fantasy
Mr. Fahrenheit
Voodoo Lady

Narr: The Earth Guard - the planet's most powerful heroes united in the common goal of protecting the innocent people of planet Earth and defending them from threats of all kinds. From the Guard Tower, their base of operations, they watch over the citizens and spring into action at any sign of danger. To that end, the Guard take shifts monitoring events all over the globe. Sooner or later, they all have to take a shift of… Guard Duty. This week: The Earth Guard in "Be Counted."

(The Guard are all in attendance, Stallion is speaking.)

S: if you're going to be late for Guard Duty, just call and let me know, I can work something out with another member of the Guard.

MF: Or, you can contact me, and I'll let him know, as press secretary.

BB: What are you going to do, alert the media?

S: Just... contact me. One final announcement, whoever's been using the Brainframe's database during emergencies has been tying up valuable computer resources. I don't know who it is, and I'm not asking for anyone to come forward, but with the Brainframe in need of repairs-

Brainframe: I am in need of repairs.

BB: I'll get to it! For heaven's sake!

S: We just need it to stop. Feel free to scan the villain archives while you're on Guard Duty, but when we're on the job, we need the Brainframe firing on as many cylinders as it can muster. Whoever it is... just make sure it doesn't happen again. All right, now... unless someone has any other business, we can go on to voting on-

CF: Actually, I have something to say.

VL: Oh, great. Some of us have homes to get to, you know.

BG: I think this is serious...

CF: I'm sorry, I won't be long. First, I'd like to... to thank you all for your support. I know you've all spoken on my behalf to the police, saying Gasmask's death was not my fault. I appreciate all your efforts, and I'm likely to not face any charges. However... I think it's best if I take a leave of absence from the Guard.

All: What? Captain! (etc)

CF: I'm sorry, but I have to. I've been talking with Argus, and he agrees with me. It's getting to a point where I can't trust my own senses. I see things that aren't there. I hear things people didn't say. I thought Gas Mask was a Caterpillar and... from what I understand, he wasn't. Heck, if I were to trust everything I've seen in the last few days, it would mean Voodoo Lady hates us all, Mr. Fahrenheit's wife left him, Dr. Fast is trying to find a way to hack someone's long term memory against their will, Stallion's been covering for a misogynist, Broadband's been secretly interfering in the Jack's life, and half of you have been promised sexual favors for votes by one of the applicants, not to mention that I keep seeing Foal, when she's long dead. I know that these things can't be true. And you have... no idea... how hard it is to talk... with Foal yelling at me that she's real... There's something really wrong with me.

DF: I've been saying that for- (smack) Ow!

VL: You deserved it.

S: Captain... I'd urge you to reconsider. You're... you're one of the most powerful members of the Guard. What if we come up against the Holy Roman or Suspiria? Losing you would set us back quite a bit.

CF: I've given this a lot of thought, and Argus agrees. I... I'm going to disconnect myself from the world of dreams. I think it's best if I try to... live in the real world.

BG: But where will you go? You said you had no... no other identity, no home to go to.

CF: Argus said I could stay with him for a while until I'm on my feet.

BB: Are you sure that's... wise?

CF: Argus has been really supportive, and I think he's very wise. Once I get my head together, I'll come back to the Guard, but for now... I just need some time to myself. No. No, Foal, I won't. Stop, please. I'm pulling myself out now. Goodbye, world of dreams. I'll miss you. AH! Oh... this... this is reality?

PB: I share your disappointment, my young friend.

CF: I guess I'd better get used to it. I'll... I'll keep in touch. I should probably go before the vote. Argus is waiting, and I'm not exactly partial right now.

BG: Are you sure, Captain?

CF: I'm sure.

MF: As the official press secretary of the Earth Guard, I think I speak for all of us when I say... we'll miss you, Howard.

CF: Howard. I like it. Be seeing you. (he exits, pause)

DF: So, as we were saying.

PB: Can you not spare a moment mourning for the departure of Captain Fantasy?

DF: How many seconds do you want me to waste on the man? I have experiments to attend to!

VL: Hacking someone's memories?

DF: He said that wasn't true. You heard him.

MF: So, does this mean we're going to vote in three new recruits? Because then we only have to bump the two losers. That'll be easy.

S: No. No, I think we should still go with the two best candidates. Captain Fantasy did say he was coming back, after all, and we can always add a third down the line, if necessary. Speaking of which, we should move on to the discussion on the applicants. Now, I am going to assume everyone read the reports on each of them by the interviewers. I'll open the floor to comments, and we might as well go in order. So... what are our thoughts on Birthday Boy?

BG: If he's a member of the Guard, I'm not. It's that simple.

S: Binary Girl, I'm telling you, that was a misunderstanding.

PB: What could there have been to misunderstand? He said "Women are lower forms of life." What's your interpretation, that we're short?

S: He's a very powerful hero! Stronger than any other member of the Guard, he can jump from body to body, he can fly faster...

VL: Oh, come on.

S: And now with Captain Fantasy gone, we're going to need everything we can get.

MF: Give it up, Stallion! Even I thought he was a jerk! I mean, he's better than Golden Eel, but-

BB: What? The Golden Eel is a professional, pure and simple, and exactly what we need in the Guard. I'm just thankful she'll even consider us, after the nonsense you pulled. If you ask me, she should be our press-

MF: You finish that sentence and your unit is slag.

DF: Regardless of her extra-heroic title, I agree with Broadband. A little more professionalism would be a breath of fresh air. Now, can we move on? I'd like to keep this under five minutes, if possible.

PB: Although, we must bear one more thing in mind... to get the Eel to stay in the running, I promised her that should she ever join, we'd never put her on the same shift of Guard Duty as yon Mr. Fahrenheit.

MF: Like I'd even want to be on Guard with a stuck up bitch like her! She can suck an egg through a straw, as far as I'm concerned.

S: We'll keep that in mind when we vote, thank you. How about the Argus, Argus Panoptes?

BB: Ah... er, no complaints. That is, I didn't see or hear anything that would make me not want him to serve on the Guard with me, if that's what you mean.

S: He was a great help with the Gasmask situation, up until... well, until his death.

BG: He seems like he could be pretty useful.

PB: If you consider cowardice useful.

VL: It's not cowardice, it's stealth. You wouldn't understand- you've never gone anywhere not wanting to be seen.

PB: Why ever would I not want to be seen?

DF: You know, I could have just run through the bank faster than the speed of light. I could have disarmed Gasmask's thugs at the same time.

BG: But can you make yourself look like someone else?

DF: Well... I could get a degree in plastic surgery, reconstruct my features to look like someone else and heal at an accelerated pace. Might take a few hours. Or I could build a hologram machine... give me a minute...

VL: Speaking of which, I like Dr. Rock.

DF: Absolutely not. The man is a traitor to the entire human race.

S: So you said in your report.

MF: You mean the phone book he turned in? Yeah, I skimmed it to help fall asleep.

DF: The man is an abortion of science! A fetid cesspool, rancid with complacency, and devoted to the propagation of ignorance!

VL: That was the title of chapter three of your screed, wasn't it?

DF: I'll make it this simple: vote him in and I will dedicate my life to destroying the Earth Guard and everything it stands for.


VL: Ooookay. Speaking of professionalism...

BB: I guess if you feel that strongly about him...

VL: (sigh) Fine. He was sort of a loser geek anyway.

S: Which leaves Bumblebee.

MF: I like her.

BB: Me too.

BG: So do we. I.

PB: And I as well!

S: Agreed.

VL: Um... am I missing something? She shrinks. She flies. She shoots. What's the big deal?

DF: I haven't the faintest idea.

VL: Oh great. I'm on your side? Maybe they are onto something.

BG: Her powers sound like... they could be... very useful. In a fight.

VL: Whatever you say, I mean, you guys interviewed her.

S: All right, if that's everyone's opinions on the matter, we'll vote. We'll do one vote for each candidate, a simple in or out vote, taken by show of hands. The two who receive the most in votes will be members of the Guard. That means you can vote yes for as many of them as you think deserve to get in. Understood? (beat) Good. All right. We'll begin. Captain Fantasy? (pause) OK. The Golden Eel? (pause) Mmm Hmm. Argus Panoptes? (pause) All right. Dr. Rock? (pause) And... Bumblebee? (pause) Thank you all very much. We've got our clear winners. Mr. Fahrenheit, you arrange a press conference, I'll inform the new Guard Members.

MF: Will do.

S: Guard Dismissed.

Go to Episode 9